In the early eighties my first automation system was an IGM Basic A, IIRC. It ran the open reels for music and programs, satellite feeds, 2 Carousels for carts. Later we "upgraded" to an Instacart. That meant we swapped on set of problems for a different set of problems. I recall we bought an IBM AT for the office during that time. I didn't see it, but before the IGM the station had a Schafer automation system. There are some interesting photos on the internet.
I tried to find a photo just now of the IGM. Haven't found the automation system yet, but I did find an "Olde Golde" tape that siad "IGM World's largest supplier of taped music for radio." I didn't realize they did the music.
I'll have to dig around to find some of my old photos.
According to one item I ran across, Drake Chenault developed the use of EOM tones on multi-track tapes, with the cue at 1 KHz on a discrete track. Not the 25 Hz mixed in like I "grew up with."
Chief Engineer/IT Manager
From: Lamar Owen [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, February 03, 2018 8:08 AM
Subject: Re: [CRTech] Early Automation system nostalgia (was:why I like assembly (And CRTECH))
On 02/02/2018 09:41 PM, Michael Barnes wrote:
> Actually, there WAS automation back then. Way ahead of its time was
> the WINGS system, developed by the HCJB Engineering Center. I believe
> the first version went on line around 1989 or so. Originally running
> on DOS 5.1, it had a basic GUI for user interface....
I remember the first automation system I used; Digital DJ was its name. Put my first one in on September 1, 1991. A little later, put in another system alongside of DDJ called 'The Auto-Mate' by John Zolkoske; I actually have the two-floppy set in my hand right now for version 2.1 of this really handy simple automation program (we used it entirely for music-on-hard-drive, as we all called it at the time). The station got struck by lightning in 1998, and the Digital DJ's Antec SX8 card got fried; we had already been evaluating BSI's WaveStation (anybody else still have an SX36?), and I had thankfully dumped (by analog!) all of the DDJ's audio over to the WaveStation before the strike (the DDJ files were in a proprietary Antec file format), so we had little downtime once repairs were made to the Audioarts R60 console.
In many ways the older DOS systems were more robust that what we have today; the PCs those systems ran on were too slow to do more than one thing at a time, so there was no temptation to do other things on the main on-air machine; we have caught operators trying to do other things on the WaveStation (Simian, of course, now) machine since it was a full Windows system, and that's an actual disadvantage of the newer systems. That's one more advantage to using Rivendell, since it specifically isn't Windows, and it can be locked down much tighter. Just my opinion, of course...
Anyway, great nostalgia time, there.....
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